Robin Gibb (1949-2012)
Thankfully, disco was not for everyone who moved and grooved on a dance floor in the 1970’s (see: Disco Demolition Night). There are some very good reasons for that, but the Bee Gees seemed to emerge from the downfall disco and remain very popular in the time that has lapsed since then. Robin Gibb, who passed away today after a long battle with cancer, was a significant part of the trio that was also comprised of brothers Barry and Maurice. Whatever you think of disco or the Bee Gees, it is important to acknowledge their longevity despite performing music that has long been out of vogue in the Top 40.
Only Elvis, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, and Michael Jackson have sold more records that the group’s 200 million albums, including their work on the smash soundtrack that accompanied the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. The soundtrack to the John Travolta film was certified platinum an incredible 15 times. At one point the Gibb brothers were accredited with writing nine singles that decorated the Billboard 100 simultaneously in 1978 and 13 that year alone. Even if the style of music wasn’t universally appreciated, for whatever reason the songs that Robin Gibb were associated with struck a chord with people and outlasted an entire genre. The Bee Gees still get played at weddings as much as any Motown, rock, or pop group, and I think that says something beyond record charts.
This has been a tough month for music, losing Adam Yauch, Donna Summer, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Chuck Brown, and now Gibb, who left behind as successful a music legacy as you can ever find.